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August 30th, 2011
04:23 PM ET

Preparing clergy for war: army chaplains train by the hundred for the combat zone

By Eric Marrapodi and Chris Lawrence, CNN

Fort Jackson, South Carolina (CNN) – The summer sun beats down on camouflaged Kevlar helmets.  Weighed down by heavy body armor, men and women of the cloth are crawling through sand, under barbed wire and learning how to run with soldiers.

Explosions in woods simulate the battlefield as an instructor barks commands.

"You are not following simple instructions!  Cover me while I move!  Got you covered!  Let's go!"

This is the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where the Army trains clergy of all faiths how to survive in combat.

Once many of these chaplains complete this modified basic training they will head to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the explosions and gunfire are not simulated.

U.S. Army chaplain candidates train at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.

Here at Fort Jackson, on a range in the woods, there is a bevy of broken down cars and trucks to simulate an urban battlefield.

The army says being a chaplain in combat is among the most dangerous jobs because the chaplains move from base to base ministering to soldiers.

"Once you move behind the vehicle, the chaplain, who has no weapon, will stay behind the engine block or the wheel base. That is the safest place for you to be,” the instructor yells to the long line of chaplains who are readying to run this course.

On the battlefield, chaplains look just like any other soldier.

Decked out in camouflage and body armor, the only addition is a two-inch patch signifying their religious affiliation.  Christian clergy wear a cross, Jewish clergy tablets showing the Ten Commandments, and Muslim clergy wear a crescent.

A cross patch signifies a chaplain's religious affiliation.

What they do not have is a weapon.

Chaplains are unarmed at all times.

They travel in combat with a chaplain assistant who carries a weapon and protects the clergy member.

For this drill the chaplains are learning to hold onto the back of their assistant as they run from obstacle to obstacle.

The pairs have to stay low and move through the course two pairs at a time.  The chaplain assistants have to cover the others as they move.

“Cover me while I move!”

“Got you covered!”

Then they run and dive for cover.

Army chaplains must learn to run with soldiers.

"Hold onto him like this and you will not get separated or you will be taken out. You are the target of opportunity.  You stay on him!" The instructor yells when a chaplain is separated from his assistant.

This is about as far away from a suburban pulpit or seminary these clergy can get.

“In school I'm used to sitting at a desk and reading and writing, so it's definitely a little more physical,” 2nd Lt. Adri Bullard said.  She is a Methodist seminarian, pursuing a Master’s in Divinity at the divinity school at Vanderbilt University.

“Being in grad school and trying to get your (degree) takes discipline and the discipline is pretty steady throughout my life right now. Getting up early, staying up late. These big booms, that's the main difference.  You really don't have those going off at seminary or divinity school, hopefully,” she smiles and pauses as explosions punctuate her points.

She is the smallest person on the range and sports the biggest smile.  What she lacks in physical stature, she makes up two-fold in effort and energy.

Bullard is among 200 chaplains and chaplain hopefuls going through various stages of chaplain school at any given time.  In Bullard’s class of chaplain candidates, the group covers a wide range.  “We’ve got two of our students who are actually in their 50s and we have two that are 22,” said Chaplain Maj. Harold Cline, who is an instructor.

Regardless of age, the candidates are put through their paces.

“When you’re working with soldiers, they’re in good shape. That’s part of their business. If you’re going to minister to them and work with them, rub elbows with them, you’ve got to be in good shape as well.”

The U.S. Army employs around 2,900 chaplains.  About half are active duty and the other serve in the reserves.  Eight-hundred chaplains and chaplain assistants are deployed in the war on terror and 300 of them serve in the Middle East and Afghanistan, according to a spokesman.

In order to join the ranks, a member of the clergy also has to meet the ordination requirements of their own faith and be endorsed by them to join the military.

Bullard has at least a year of schooling to go before she can be ordained in her church to serve as a full-time minister and an active duty chaplain.

She said she felt the call to ministry in college, “(I) did some of that in a congregational setting, yet felt like there was something else I needed to be doing, maybe taking it to another level in another setting.  Military chaplaincy seemed to fit that.”

Even in training she sees a parallel between her spiritual calling and the military.

“You're helping to meet the most basic needs a person has to live and thrive and flourish.  I'm going to look for everyone around me and make sure they're drinking water. I'll go get them water if they need it.  And that's scriptural,” she said, referring to a passage in the gospels where Jesus talks about giving water to the thirsty.

“So I think it's pretty easy to do ministry out here in the beating South Carolina sun.”

The task at hand

In the Army, each combat unit is able to have a chaplain with them if the commanding officer wants one. They report to that commanding officer and are paid by the military for their services.

The chaplaincy corps had to grow in a hurry as combat operations increased in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade, said Chaplain Carlton Birch, the spokesman for the chaplain corps.

“Our country is becoming more pluralist,” Birch said.  “We’ve had our first Buddhist chaplain, now we have our first Hindu chaplain. Our chaplain corps has had to adapt.”

It’s a long way from the start of the chaplaincy corps on July 29, 1775, under George Washington.

Today army chaplains minister to soldiers of all faiths regardless of their own.  They hold services in remote areas, connect a soldier of another faith with a chaplain of their own, and conduct ceremonies to send a fallen soldier home.

“They are the listening ear, they are there in times of crisis and turmoil for the soldiers,” Birch said.  “The value we hold dear is to meet a person at their time of need.”

The danger of their job was brought home for many here last summer when Chaplain Dale Goetz was killed when an improvised explosive device struck the vehicle he was riding in Afghanistan.

He was the first chaplain killed in action since the Vietnam War.

“The danger is sometimes what gives us the credibility to minister to our soldiers.  They know we've been there.  We've been there with them.  We've faced the fear,” Chaplain Capt. Karlyn Maschhoff said.

Maschhoff is a seasoned chaplain with multiple tours to the Middle East under her belt.

She came to Fort Jackson for another component of training – moving from rookie status like Bullard to being a more senior chaplain and helping those new to this unique ministry position.

Before September 11, 2001, she was writing Sunday school material and doing mission work. “I came into the chaplaincy after the events of 9/11. That made a profound impact on me when I saw the need for chaplains,” Maschhoff said.

“It was a combination of patriotism and recognizing the needs of soldiers as they climbed on those planes to go to a place where they would be in harm’s way and I just felt the need to be with them, to go with them. That is what led to me accepting the call.”

During her prior tours in Iraq she has seen the worst of war on the battlefield and on the home front.

“My first deployment was in 2005-2006 and that was a tough period. There was a lot of loss of life, a lot of bloodshed and a lot of uncertainty. But then I also went back later in 2008 for a 15-month deployment and at that time you got to see things improving.  Incidents were happening, but you got to see progress.”

“Losing soldiers is always tough,” she said.  “Watching families struggle through a deployment, yet you come on, you struggle on together.  You get through the tough days together. You continue on. As a chaplain you bring hope for the future and that is our message to our soldiers, that it's a dark day but it's going to get better.”

Heading home the hard way

"In country if you're doing one of these it could be 100, 130 degrees, maybe even hotter," Cline barks as rookie chaplains learn how to send a soldier home the hard way, with a dignified transfer ceremony.

They practice with a flag-draped metal transfer case, identical to the thousands of cases used to send slain soldiers home from war.

Before the transfer case boards the plane for the long flight home, the chaplains say a prayer or hold a brief service.

“She may have moved on from this Earth, but she's still in my heart," a chaplain in training says as he looks over the transfer case.

Six soldiers pick up the case.  They snap their heels together and begin to move.

Chaplain Cline instructs chaplain candidates how to do a dignified transfer for a soldier killed in action.

"You do not want to be the chaplain who is walking too slow in front of an honors team,” Cline said.  “Why? They're carrying the body, they're carrying the transfer case, and even though the case is relatively light, it's got a body in it and it’s full of ice, so they're carrying a lot of weight.  Don't slow them down and don't make them hold that transfer case up while you're doing something ceremonial."

The chaplain candidate puts his hand on the flag, bows his head, and sends the solider off with a prayer.

Today is a drill, but the Army says in as little as two weeks, these trainees could be doing the real ceremony on an airstrip in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Days after our interview, Maschhoff was on a plane back to the Middle East to begin her third tour, fully confident of her mission from her commanders and from on high, “It's challenging and  you know there are tough times ahead, but you're there to do what you've been trained to do. You're there taking care of soldiers and it doesn't get better than that.”

–CNN’s John Person and Jonathan Schaer contributed to this report

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Afghanistan • Belief • Buddhism • Christianity • Content Partner • Hinduism • Iraq • Islam • Middle East • Military • TV-The Situation Room

soundoff (818 Responses)
  1. bw

    Why are those who are most critical of religion those who claim to have freedom of expression. I have seen nothing but bullying words and complete misrepresentation of beliefs noted by those who claim to have intellect. Look, bad things have been done in the name of religion, bad things have been done in the name of love, and bad things have been done in the name of politics, and bad things even have been done in the name of peace. It is easy to sit on our hands and criticize people for doing are not doing things we apporove of, but the truth is we do not get to judge others. We only judge ourselves, what good are we doing by sitting here and yelling names at each other? Go serve, go love, go give! And for what has been revelaed to me, may God have glory!

    August 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  2. Will

    Disturbing to combine religion and war – sounds like the crusades

    August 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  3. Will Duffield

    Why do Pastor's need training for the field? Shouldn't they rely on the faith based system to get them through?

    August 31, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  4. Kevin

    (Acts 10:34-35) At this Peter opened his mouth and said: “For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, 35 but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • wayne

      "When I die I shall be content to vanish into nothingness. No show, however good, could conceivably be good forever."
      H.L.M.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  5. PB812

    All this whining makes me think of the old saying, "there are no atheists in foxholes," and of how that statement contradicts the notion of calling out to a loving deity when you're in a kill-or-be-killed situation. The worst part is how I see so many people in here bashing religion and not enough bashing war. WAKE UP! Religion itself isn't the problem, folks–that would be akin to blaming the gun rather than the wielder for killing someone. It's not an automated sentry gun or something, it needs a wielder. Blame the fundamentalist morons (religious or atheist) who go way too far and wield their beliefs to devalue, antagonize, subjugate, fight, or kill others. Religion and atheism don't start wars, fundamentalists do.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • pat carr

      atheism doesn't start wars

      August 31, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Sean

      Your analogy is terrible. A gun is an inanimate object. Religion is a Idea, an idea that has rules about how you behave, your actions and you beliefs. Follow these rules and behave the way you are told or you are not following your religion. Last I checked no gun has given me instructions on how to behave.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Sporkify

      Pretty sure you could count the number of times anyone has killed for "atheism" on one hand.

      Religion...track record ain't quite so hot.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • PB812

      Haha, only on CNN....I just had three people in a row completely miss my point and help prove that folks still have lots of waking up to do. I'm not sure if I should keep laughing or stop to thank them. By offering atheism as a deliberate counterpoint to religion, I had hoped to point out in hypothetical, supposedly simple terms how it was the fundamentalist morons in either group that could stir things up for everyone. By illustrating how all groups could theoretically have their own hubris-ridden wackos, I'd hoped to break people's mindsets out of the poisonous belief that all religious types are crazy and wield their faith as a weapon of destruction. No, religion is not EXACTLY like a gun. I don't need to elaborate on that more than someone else already did for me (thanks again for stating the obvious differences.) Again, they're missing the point, but at least they're trying....I'll take what I can get at this juncture. Anyway, saying that religion is the killer is pure BS that only an idiot or someone in bitter denial would believe. Yes, religion gets perverted into a weapon entirely too often, but then it's still just a weapon, not a wielder! If you're blaming the religion rather than the hypothetical crazy person in charge and persuading people to kill for it, it's like blaming the gun instead of the hypothetical crazy person behind the trigger. I'll readily concede that religion is "responsible" for way more killing than atheism in that sense, but then in that same context, guns are thus "responsible" for killing lots of people too. While certain lunatics perpetuating atrocities like the Crusades or the Inquisition may have tarnished Christianity's reputation, it's not like St. Francis of Assisi (or Jesus himself, for that matter) would ever go there, just like not everyone with a firearm is going to use it to kill other people. People still don't get it, and instead are immediately sidetracked by the fact that I even mentioned atheism in the first place, presuming I labeled it as a culprit (which I didn't even approach outside the realm of conjecture.) By framing religion parallel to atheism, I'd hoped to point out how the philosophies themselves are expressly NOT the problem, and instead I get people trying to inform me that atheism isn't the problem. You won't be able to wake up until you can learn to avoid derailing yourselves at the mere mention of a trigger-word that you didn't even view in the proper context this time. Furthermore, religion is not explicitly a gun, and I guess I should apologize for providing an analogy that obviously failed to get people to see what was actually being discussed. Yes, I realize I'm beating the issue into the ground at this point. It's deliberate, in the hopes that nobody else will be able to further misunderstand something that I'd originally thought was so bloody simple. From here onward, I think people would actually have to be stupid on purpose to keep missing the point. It truly saddens me to realize that I failed to dumb things down far enough to reach CNN readers. I truly hope that more Americans do eventually wake up, so that the blood that our military spills in defense of its citizens stops seeming like such a waste....

      August 31, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  6. HeeHawGoat

    Very wonderful story.... 2nd story today that I read that where news worthy.... I don't care for those ranting that they don't believe in God... But don't knock others because you lack their understanding.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Will Duffield

      Their Understanding? What does that mean?
      On another note, Why do Pastor's need training for the field? Shouldn't they rely on the faith based system to get them through?
      Remember, Religion is like racism, it's a learned behavoir. It can be unlearned.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Sean

      @Heehaww

      Your comment is hypocritical. A theist hypocrite.. what a shock.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  7. You're a Cook

    Every atheist mentions all the destruction that religion brings, but fails to recognize that if religion didn't exist, man would just find other matter to fight and go to war over.

    Also, I see wayyyyy more Christian charities, whose sole purpose is to help those in need, than atheist charities. Interesting to note.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • MrHanson

      Of course not. Atheism is about survival of the fittest. Evolution must be vindicated.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Laughing

      No one denies that evil people will do evil things regardless of being religious or not. It's the people who would otherwise do good things get coaxed into doing evil because they believe its good. Atheists, for the most part, do not believe that world would be a utopia without religion.

      Also, there aren't really such things as "atheist charities" , they don't need to promote the atheism cause to be good, they just do good for the sake of doing good. Christian charities on the otherhand do good, but also spread their religion and skim money off the top to support themselves. Don't think for a moment that christian charities don't gain from setting up shop.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Every atheist mentions all the destruction that religion brings, but fails to recognize that if religion didn't exist, man would just find other matter to fight and go to war over.

      I doubt 9/11 would have occured for other reasons.

      > Also, I see wayyyyy more Christian charities, whose sole purpose is to help those in need, than atheist charities. Interesting to note.

      Becuse there are more christians in the US? Think much?

      August 31, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Will

      So if religion didn't exist, yea, we would still find reasons to kill each other. But that doesn't change the fact that religion poisons people. I'm all for spirituality, but when I speak to "Christians" who tell me I'll burn in hell because I don't accept Jesus as my savior but a child molester or rapist who "repents" will, I have a problem with that. As for charities, you are spot on, but I would caution you that those charities have certain rules and pretexts that prevent them from delivering maximum aid, i.e. Catholic charities won't give out condoms or birth control, which is a real travesty in many parts of the world.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • pat carr

      "Also, I see wayyyyy more Christian charities, whose sole purpose is to help those in need, than atheist charities. Interesting to note." that's because there are more xians in the country. get it?

      August 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Will Duffield

      I don't believe in a God. I believe in his holyness, The Flying Spaghetti Monster http://www.venganza.org/.
      I also give money to charities that are not religious based, it's called, Non-Believers Giving Aid

      August 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Sean

      Yea gota love those Christian charities. Read our holy book THEN you eat. They’ve just done wonders in Africa.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  8. Soulsnagger

    @civiloutside As my name suggests, I am a Christian and have no embarrassment about shouting it from the highest peaks. However, lest you think I am some dumb misguided dupe, I am also a highly educated person with a doctorate and an avid reader of all sources of information.

    You say that you challenge religious people because you are trying to beneift people. No one but you can see into your heart but your comments suggest nothing but disdain for something very precious to other people. YWouldn't it be better to try to encourage people to do good (including people of faith) rather than attack their beliefs? Of course "religious people" do harm – they are fallable and human, just like you are. Just because a person or group does something wrong in the name of religion doesn't make the religion bad, the same way a corrupt athiest doesn't speak for all athiests. Jesus himself recognized that there were false "believers." He said that many men would call on his name, but ultimately he would say "Depart from me, I never knew you."

    What I don't understand is how many athiests refuse to recognize that their athiesm is a religion just like Christianity. You believe what you believe without absolute proof of the non-existance of God. Call it a hypothesis, lack fo proof, belief, faith, or religion, but by either name, you base your life, your decisions, on something you can not prove... on something you reasoned out in your own mind to be the most believable out of all the options. Sounds a lot like a religion to me.

    Do you scoff at people who don't believe in global warming, or refuse to believe in evolution? I would submit that your opinions are similarly based on faith and faith alone. I just read an article yesterday pertaining to a long term study of the sun done by secular scientists. They found that in recent years the sun has been in an unusually active period of sun spot activity (no connection to anything being done here on earth), but is now going into an extended period of no sunspot activity, which could usher in a mini ice age. It has happened twice in the last few hundred years. (What would Al Gore say about that???) I also read an article, again by secular scientists, who admitted that there was insufficient evidence to say that man's activity has had anything to do with the climate changes. They stated that it was possible, but not scientifically provable. Yet people (perhaps even you) based their actions, choices, and lifestyle on the "fact" that global warming is brought about by man's activity. I also note having read multiple articles, again by secular scientists, who reluctantly admit that darwinian evolution is an unlikely explanation of the origin of life given the unparallelled complexity of a single cell. They simply can't explain how a cell, which contains a DNA strand, could have evolved. From what I can gather (and I am willing to read all the sources of scientific thought I can find rather than just the sources that confirm my beliefs) darwinian evolution will almost certainly fall as the scientific basis for life on this planet. People will laugh at evolution just as surely as you laugh at people who believed the earth was flat. In the mean time, you believe it because everybody believes it, and some scientists told you it was proven. What a shame. Why don't you get out there and read something that isn't in line with your own beliefs? You might find it to be very compelling after all.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Ralph

      Very well written and articulate article. Thanks for your insight. I agree that we should strive to help all people, and not only those with whom we agree with. Kinda weird, but all the hate on the religion comments board just made me want to (and I did) donate some $ to charity. Next I need to get my lazy self out to volunteer. Cheers 🙂

      August 31, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • UncleM

      You're demostrating a fundamental ignorance of the scientific method. Science constantly questions establish thinking and moves forward, whereas religion attempts to suppress knowledge. Lack of evidence for gods is not 'belief' that they don't exist. The vast canon of scientific knowledge that supports evolution doesn't require belief – it provides evidence.

      Your so called education clearly omitted basic logic, or you are suppressing your intellect to hang on to your religious delusions.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • pat carr

      "What I don't understand is how many athiests refuse to recognize that their athiesm is a religion just like Christianity. You believe what you believe without absolute proof of the non-existance of God. "

      You don't understand because you don't comprehend that atheism is a lack of belief in religion and deities, not another religion. You religious people have to box everything up in a religious belief. It's the brainwashing

      August 31, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Yes

      Great reply and well thought out. I have always argued that Atheism is a religion. Your quote " What I don't understand is how many athiests refuse to recognize that their athiesm is a religion just like Christianity. You believe what you believe without absolute proof of the non-existance of God. Call it a hypothesis, lack fo proof, belief, faith, or religion, but by either name, you base your life, your decisions, on something you can not prove... on something you reasoned out in your own mind to be the most believable out of all the options. Sounds a lot like a religion to me." really sums up what Atheism is all about. Atheist want you to stop believing what you believe and believe what they are saying. Sounds alot like religion.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Sporkify

      "Atheism is a religion"?

      You might want to look into a refund on that degree there, buddy.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • BRC

      @Soulsnagger, Yes,
      As with most things, I think we're all fighting over definitions again. Atheism is not a religion. It doesn't meet ANY of the requirements of a religion, and it CERTAINLY isn't like Christianity. A religion is a set of structured beliefs, typically associated with specific traditions and ceremonies. They can be Monotheistic (Judeism), Pantheistic (Greek/Roman/Norse gods), or atheistic (the original Buddhism did not believe in any gods, that came later). A religion is a structure, a group a society.

      Atheism is a mindset, an opinion, a belief, or if you really really want to stretch the word a faith (though I would say typically an informed faith). An atheist doesn't believe there are any all powerful beings, or gods. It usually, but not necessarily, also involves the dismissal of all things supernatural.

      It is distinctly separate from any religion, because it has no structure, no tenants, no rules, no traditions. When I decide to by something I don't think "I should by this because I'm an atheist", I think "I want this. Religion forms and affects people's lives (some people anyway), they do things "because I'm a Christian". That is the important difference. It is also why some atheists speak out against religion. Because some of the things done by people "because they were Christian" are horrific, or oppressive, or backwards. It's not everyone's fault, it doesn't mean all Christians are bad, it doesn't mean Jesus is good or bad real or fake. It means that people have done bad things thinking they were following their religion.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • wayne

      You claim to have a PHD but you lack the fundamental ability to reason. PHD in what? Theology?

      August 31, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      Your only flaw in this whole thing is thinking that atheists wouldn't change their minds about these ideas given new evidence. If a scientist gives a better explination than evolution and can back it up, then I will change my thoughts about it. I haven't heard about this evolution may be unlikely thing that you mentioned, but I still believe that it sounds much more likely than creationism. Atheism is never about absolutes, we're willing to say we may be wrong about this. This shows a fundamental difference between being atheist and being religious. All we're saying is 'this is more likely' (sometimes MUCH more likely). So I say that atheism is not a religion. We base our ideas on what has most merit, not what the majority believes.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > As my name suggests, I am a Christian and have no embarrassment about shouting it from the highest peaks. However, lest you think I am some dumb misguided dupe, I am also a highly educated person with a doctorate and an avid reader of all sources of information.

      Odd then that you'd remain a Christian. From what I've seen, the more people read and think, the less religious they get.

      > You say that you challenge religious people because you are trying to beneift people. No one but you can see into your heart but your comments suggest nothing but disdain for something very precious to other people. Wouldn't it be better to try to encourage people to do good (including people of faith) rather than attack their beliefs?

      It doesn't matter if it's precious to people. It's an idea. It's either correct or incorrect. It's either supported or unsupported. The reality is that most atheists here object to the concept of holding ideas for no other reason except for being told that they are to hold them. Ideas that find their way into law and restrict the freedoms we should be enjoying.

      The reality is that for us to move forward as a society, we need to set down the egotistical and silly notions of religion. We need to think about what is moral and make intelligent decisions on what is and isn't, not let some men from a more primitive time dictate what is and is not.

      > Of course "religious people" do harm – they are fallable and human, just like you are. Just because a person or group does something wrong in the name of religion doesn't make the religion bad, the same way a corrupt athiest doesn't speak for all athiests.

      You're confusing the aciton with the cause. There are many things that everyone does wrong. These are generally unavoidable. However, when people do things wrong because of a belief that isn't founded on reality, that's something that can be corrected and remedied.

      > Jesus himself recognized that there were false "believers." He said that many men would call on his name, but ultimately he would say "Depart from me, I never knew you."

      And this adds to the conversation how?

      > What I don't understand is how many athiests refuse to recognize that their athiesm is a religion just like Christianity.

      Because it's not. Atheism is a non-belief in a God. Let me ask you a question. Do you believe in leprechauns until they're proven not to exist? Or do you not believe in leprechauns until they're proven to exist? Unless you're a complete moron, you'll say that you do not believe until they're proven. Atheism is no more a belief then that conclusion is.

      > You believe what you believe without absolute proof of the non-existance of God.

      No, we reject belief in a God without evidence that supports the existence of a God. You've got it wrong.

      > Call it a hypothesis, lack fo proof, belief, faith, or religion, but by either name, you base your life, your decisions, on something you can not prove...

      I do not base any decisions on my atheism. I base my decisions on my logic. My logic determines that I'm an atheist.

      > Sounds a lot like a religion to me.

      Only because you don't know what atheism is.

      > Do you scoff at people who don't believe in global warming, or refuse to believe in evolution?

      Yes, because the evidence does point that these things occur. The people who scoff are generally not educated in the matter. The reality is that evolution is a fact and that climate change is, for the most part, accepted by most climate scientists. To reject these without a reasonable founding in the subject and evidence is silly and is worthy of being mocked.

      > I would submit that your opinions are similarly based on faith and faith alone.

      I submit you have no clue what you're talking about.

      > I just read an article yesterday pertaining to a long term study of the sun done by secular scientists. They found that in recent years the sun has been in an unusually active period of sun spot activity (no connection to anything being done here on earth), but is now going into an extended period of no sunspot activity, which could usher in a mini ice age. It has happened twice in the last few hundred years. (What would Al Gore say about that???)

      Only morons base their opinion on newspaper articles. People who have a clue go to peer reviewed journals.

      > I also read an article, again by secular scientists, who admitted that there was insufficient evidence to say that man's activity has had anything to do with the climate changes. They stated that it was possible, but not scientifically provable. Yet people (perhaps even you) based their actions, choices, and lifestyle on the "fact" that global warming is brought about by man's activity.

      Again, peer reviewed articles are the way to go. Heck, Dr. Behe, who is a scientist with expertiese in evolution says that evolution isn't right. There's always going to be nutters who disagree.

      > I also note having read multiple articles, again by secular scientists, who reluctantly admit that darwinian evolution is an unlikely explanation of the origin of life given the unparallelled complexity of a single cell.

      BECAUSE EVOLUTION DOES'T EXPLAIN THE ORIGIN OF LIFE. You claim to be educated, but you demonstrate a lack of knowledge on the subject that I'd expect a grade 10 student to have. Pick up a damn book and read.

      > They simply can't explain how a cell, which contains a DNA strand, could have evolved.

      Yes, and Darwin predicted the methodology of evolution without knowing how information passed from one generation to another. Doesn't mean what he proposed was wrong. No answer doesn't mean that a theory has failed, it simply means we don't have an answer.

      When we DO have an answer and it's not consistent with the theory is when the theory fails. Again, your scientific illiteracy shows here.

      > From what I can gather (and I am willing to read all the sources of scientific thought I can find rather than just the sources that confirm my beliefs) darwinian evolution will almost certainly fall as the scientific basis for life on this planet.

      Your response demonstrates that you don't understand what evolution is and don't even understand how science works.

      > People will laugh at evolution just as surely as you laugh at people who believed the earth was flat.

      Nope. Entirely different fields of biology confirm evolution independant of one another. You'd know this if you had a clue. If evolution is wrong, then almost all of biology is wrong. In fact, things like vaccines wouldn't work if evolution wasn't true.

      > In the mean time, you believe it because everybody believes it, and some scientists told you it was proven.

      Actually I studied it. I have my BSc in Biochemistry thank you very much. As for proof, the easiest proof of evolution is when a baby is born and it shares traits of it's parents and looks different then either one of them. Of course, you don't see this because you have no clue what evolution is.

      > What a shame. Why don't you get out there and read something that isn't in line with your own beliefs? You might find it to be very compelling after all.

      I have read the religious tripe. Heck, I even went to the creation museum. Hilarious. Perhaps you should actually get a grounding in science and understand how it works before you see fit to comment on it. Because as you've demonstrated, your understanding of the subject is pathetic.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • wayne

      ""You believe what you believe without absolute proof of the non-existance of God. ""
      You may never see a statement so idiotic.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Yes, because the evidence does point that these things occur. The people who scoff are generally not educated in the matter. The reality is that evolution is a fact and that climate change is, for the most part, accepted by most climate scientists. To reject these without a reasonable founding in the subject and evidence is silly and is worthy of being mocked.

      Meant to say...

      The people who reject it are generally not educated in the matter.

      That is to say, the majority of people who reject evolution are not educated in it. There are some who are educated and do reject it. But that's no different then any scientific subject mostly.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • blakka

      well said!

      August 31, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      @Soulsnagger – How many of my posts have you actually read? I ask because your starting assumption that I would call you an uneducated dupe simply for being a believer, or that my posts consist largely of mockery, suggests to me that you haven't read many. I disagree with the theist viewpoint, but disagreement and counterargument are not the same thing as mockery. I do occasionally slip in a joke at believers' expense, I admit, but that has more to do with my belief that almost anything can be laughed at than any expression of contempt. By and large, I try to have respectful dialogues. Raising bitterness an defensiveness, after all, is not going to convince anyon of my points.

      Maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps I come off more condescending than I think. Anyone care to chime in on my usual demeanor?

      Oh, and I routinely read things that disagree with my point of view. I've learned a great deal about both sides of the debate by doing so. I'm even in the middle of giving the Bible a thorough read. But just because I have never yet seen an argument that convinces me that any gods exist doesn't mean I have never sought out the arguments. For a long time I wanted very badly to believe, and for a long time I tried to convince myself that I did.

      You ask why I can't just encourage people to do good without arguing against their religion. The answer is that it's useless to exhort people to do good when you fundamentally disagree on whether some actions are good or not. If a religion actively teaches something I find harmful, I have no recourse but to try and argue that the religion itself is wrong.

      So no, I don't believe gods exist. Yes, I believe humans contribute to global warming. I believe that evolution is true, and explains quite handily the diversity of life on the planet I'm quite comfortable with the idea that there are scientists who disagree – that's part of how theories get tested. I'm even comfortable with the idea that they might be proven right. I decide what to believe based on my evaluation of the evidence, and if I'm later proven to be wrong I hope I have the good grace to admit it.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Civiloutside

      We all know you're the worst of all us atheists and the most abrasive.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Civiloutside

      Nah, -Civil... you are definitely one of the more 'civil' bloggers here. Not to mention one of the more articulate and knowledgeable.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      "We all know you're the worst of all us atheists and the most abrasive."

      Darn! I guess my capacity for self delusion know no bounds!

      But now that I know, I have a choice to make. Do I carry on in denial, making no changes? Do I strive to be better? Or do I embrace my evil jerk nature (perhaps it needs a hug)?

      August 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  9. Jim P.

    I'm an ahteist. I don't generally see a lot of use for religion.

    On the other hand, chaplains perform a valuable job, something that is very important to many people in a very difficult place. The fact that most of them will help anyone regardless of doctrine simply improves my opinion of them.

    You don't neeed an invisible big daddy in the sky to get by but sometimes you do need someone to talk to who can listen and who can sympathize and offer you emotional support in a time and place when nothing else seems to have any sanity and that's never a bad thing in a hot zone.

    By and large, the chaplain corps is beyond reproach even by a cynic such as myself. Those who willingly go into the bad places to help those who need it are worthy of praise.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • MrHanson

      Invisible big daddy in the sky? FSM? When atheists use these constructs to mock what believers in God believe, they always end up sounding like a 5 year old trying to start a fight on a play ground instead of having a seriouis discussion.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • IslandAtheist

      Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.

      —Thomas Jefferson

      August 31, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  10. jonathan

    IT WOULD be nice to have the helmit of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith , the truth gird about their loins , their feet shod with the preperation of the gospel of peace and of course never leave home without the sword of the Spirit or today the rifle or gun of the Spirit... 🙂

    August 31, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • David Johnson

      I agree. If faith was real and as large as a mustard seed, they would be charging into battle in flip flops, shorts and a T-shirt.

      Cheers!

      August 31, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Sporkify

      Well if they're armed with all that faith I guess they can give up the body armor, right? Jesus has their backs anyway.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  11. Mark

    If atheists can carry a rabbit's foot into battle for comfort, I don't see how it's unfair to have clergy of all faiths to comfort those on the battlefield. For a country that goes so far to promote freedom, it only makes sense to offer everyone a chance and a choice.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      @ Mark
      That doesn't make sense, an atheist carrying a rabbits foot is more like a christian carrying a cross, not bringing their preacher with them.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Laughing

      Did you just compare a chaplin to a rabbits foot?

      Yeah, I don't think that makes any sense at all. Now, if you said it would be fair for every unit there should be a rabbi, chaplain, imam, confucius scholar, buddhist monk, etc... and for the atheists maybe.... I don't know, I scientist, or just an extra piece of technology, then you might have a case.......

      August 31, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • David Johnson

      Mark is right. Belief that a rabbit's foot is lucky is exactly like believing a god exists. Both are pure B.S.

      No true atheist would believe in a rabbit's foot. Atheists don't believe in the supernatural.

      Cheers!

      August 31, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Mark

      I completely agree that the rabbit's foot sounds silly, but it does happen. Luck isn't a god, so there is nothing wrong with a belief in the supernatural. An atheist just doesn't believe there is a central figure(s) controlling it. Either way, whether it is a rabbits foot, a family photo, clergy, pills, or a psychiatrist, they are (if nothing else) a form of comfort and that comfort does make a difference to the troops moral and performance.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mark

      Atheists do not believe in luck. As usual, you are ignorant.

      Cheers!

      August 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  12. Kong

    The Army need 360 degree coverage. They need protection of their face, legs, and arms. The US Army need new assault rifles. The M16A4 and M4A1 totally sucks. The US Army should use Bushmaster ACR it able to carry new rounds like 6.5 Grendel and 6.8 Remmington.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  13. Kong

    LOL! He tripped in the video.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  14. Tripp

    What a waste of money. Paying people who beleive in an invisible sky jockey to be with soldiers is, well, a waste of money. I would rather see that money go towards body armor or Hummer upgrades or better technology.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • HZD

      Hey, Tripp, do you believe in religious freedom? Because that's the what the chaplains are there to provide–freedom for the soldiers to exercise their religion during their deployment. Maybe you aren't religious. Fine. But don't act like the army has no business protecting the rights of others to be religious if they so choose.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  15. On my knees for God's pleasure

    the military needs more psychiatrists and counselors to handle problems. Not imaginary friend representatives.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • You're a Cook

      Why don't you volunteer then? Or do you volunteer at all even on domestic soil? My guess is that you sit on chat boards trolling all those who believe in a higher power.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • David Johnson

      @On my knees for God's pleasure

      Yep. The country can't afford to waste money feeding, housing and paying shamans. If they want to be involved in the military, let them pay their own way.

      Cheers!

      August 31, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  16. sunny lovetts

    Love thy enemies. Hypocrites.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • MennoKnight

      So agree.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Truth

      How are they not "loving they enemies" by traveling unarmed to tend to wounded/distressed soldiers?

      August 31, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  17. Michael

    Hahahaha, I am in the Helmand province in Afghanistan and I can tell you one thing, war makes more Atheists than believers, that is why they stack these pastors in war zones to keep pushing Christianity.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Tripp

      The Army cant force you to beleive in that crap. They may own your @ss but not your mind.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • jonathan

      Well now that's quite different from what the bible says in revelation 6:14-7...it says that when they looked up and saw the heaven opened, they cried out for the rocks and the dens of the mountains to fall on them and hide them from the face of him that sits on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb..I wonder what those chaplains would say if they understood that ?
      🙁 it ain't funny... take my advice get the hell our of Muslim nations and use the Stealth platforms to distribute millions of tons of new testaments in those lands at night and get a bonus from God in heaven..James 3:17-18 should be printed on the inside cover of these new testaments which says, but the wisdom that is from above is first pure ,then peaceable, gentle , full of mercy ........ 🙂 THEY WILL THINK IT CAME FROM GOD ....and I say let them believe that... 🙂

      August 31, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      The military is about the bottom line. It is logistically better for them to have soldiers who believe they will end up in some sort of heaven if they end up dying in a blaze of glory (or during some unnecessary and pointless mission). It makes it easier for them to get away with making stupid decisions that get good soldiers killed for no reason.

      The religious mindset of following and believing without question and using not one's mind is exactly the type of people the military needs – expendable sheep-like mindsets. Half the work is already done for them.. all they have to do is train them how to use a gun.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Michael

      You said: "Hahahaha, I am in the Helmand province in Afghanistan and I can tell you one thing, war makes more Atheists than believers, that is why they stack these pastors in war zones to keep pushing Christianity."

      God bless you dude, for revealing this truth. You have my total respect and thanks for serving in this war.

      Cheers!

      August 31, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @jonathan

      There is no real evidence that Jesus ever actually existed. So the entire New Testament is pretty much worthless.

      Cheers!

      August 31, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • jonathan

      Well @David... I have evidence... 🙂 Jesus did to me what he said in John 7:37-39... there is no human experience that can ever exceed it... 🙂 and with it comes the reason why Jesus said to turn the other cheek..We have eternal life..
      there is life after death...and even now is it already entered into the world.. with this life already in me , I rejoice and can say God bless you and mean it.. 🙂

      September 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  18. Ron

    Chaplains have no business in the military if they are funded by public dollars.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • The Bobinator

      That's incorrect. The first amendment clearly states that the government shall establish no religion higher then another. If they provide chaplains of every faith, then there is no conflict.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • On my knees for God's pleasure

      of course if they provided no chaplains, then there is also no problem, and also lower costs.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • noshoes

      You're right. PTSD should just be treated by impersonal, religionless psychiatrists who can prescribe the right medications and not pray that none of their patients become suicidal or psychopathic murderers. Afterall, our men and women are overseas dying so that we can all be free from opressive religious idealogues... because excluding religion from the public square somehow is achieving equality? #snakeeatingitsowntail

      August 31, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • jonathan

      I agree with you guys ....there should be no Christians ever in uniform ..once you get saved you should get the hell out of the armed forces except perhaps in support positions..the first gentile Christians were Roman soldiers of course..I assure you that after they are filled with the Holy Spirit they no long have the desire to kill for Caesar .... 🙂

      August 31, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • David Johnson

      @jonathan

      "I agree with you guys ....there should be no Christians ever in uniform ..once you get saved you should get the hell out of the armed forces except perhaps in support positions..the first gentile Christians were Roman soldiers of course..I assure you that after they are filled with the Holy Spirit they no long have the desire to kill for Caesar ...."

      Service in the U.S. military is voluntary. About 74% of the U. S. population is Christian. So, I would think about that percentage would be Christian in the military.

      So, if these Christians are voluntarily serving then they must not be as "Christian" as you. They must not be saved or filled with the holy spirit...as least not as filled and topped off as you apparently are.

      Is that what you are suggesting? No true Christian could fight for their country? No Christian in the military could equal your status?

      Pfui! You make me laugh.

      Cheers!

      August 31, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  19. On my knees for God's pleasure

    I wonder if Jesus would go to a battlefield to bless soldiers going to kill other people.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • David Johnson

      @On my knees for God's pleasure

      You asked: "I wonder if Jesus would go to a battlefield to bless soldiers going to kill other people."

      Hmm... Probably not. Being dead doesn't leave him a lot of time for extracurricular activities.

      Cheers!

      August 31, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Will Duffield

      No he was to busy making fish and bread.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • jonathan

      @ David ..well there are many false Christs in the world..and when I was filled with the holy spirit at the age of 24; realizing at that time the I wasn't the Christian I always was led to believe I was..Jesus warned about false Christs..Today there are at least 5 times more false Christs than atheists in America..all you have to do is look at our national alcohol tab of 47 billion per year .

      BTW what I suggest is that you closely watch what the bible says in Revelation 6:14-19....and you could Judge Christians by the Words of Jesus whether or not they do what he says or not....When he said to judge not he was talking to people who would follow him and since you've already begun to judge why not judge righteously and judge us against the truth...better yet judge us by the people written in Revelation 6:9-11... 🙂

      September 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  20. The Bobinator

    Why do they need body armour? Won't God protect them or kill them based on his grand plan for their lives?

    August 31, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • JMO

      They are believers not idiots...

      August 31, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      Body armour = not having faith in God to protect them.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @JMO

      You said: "They are believers not idiots..."

      I read somewhere, that the original Aramaic word for believer, actually meant "sucker" or "One without smarts" depending on where the accent was placed. I don't know if this was true or not, but it certainly would explain a lot of things...

      Cheers!

      August 31, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • LION

      @The Bobinator

      I think the Body armour is not requested by the pastors but its a security requirement of the military. They do not have a choice of not wearing. They have to wear it
      And yes if God sent them there he is more than able to protect them. An for your information body armor is not adequate protection in a war situation where bombs and grenades fly.

      Mocking Christians and God may make you feel better but can never stop Christianity nor Christians. Nero tried that before you and the likes of you and even went further than mere mockery but failed to stop Christians and many generations have fought against christian never could stop christianity nor its influence.

      The Bad news for those badmouthing christianity is that it is here to stay and it strive well when persecuted and opposed. The greatness of The Lord Jesus Christ was not in his might but in his weekness. Neither was Paul, Peter, John and all the great apostles and prophets made great by their strength. At their weakness they became great and inspired a generation.

      The USA will fail but Christianity will abide forever. Actually the Bible predicted that men shall be mockers and revilers and that's exactly what they are.
      By observing the level of hatred and lack of reverence when it concerns religion I cannot help but say that something deeply wrong with the USA something is very wrong with you guys. Remember that religion is part of the soul of your nation. Your past and the very influence that shaped your great history.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > I think the Body armour is not requested by the pastors but its a security requirement of the military. They do not have a choice of not wearing. They have to wear it.

      That's not my point. If any of the faithful feel they need to wear body armour, then their faith isn't solid. Show me one person who wouldn't wear body armour into combat

      > And yes if God sent them there he is more than able to protect them. An for your information body armor is not adequate protection in a war situation where bombs and grenades fly.

      But it helps. That's why it's mandatory.

      > Mocking Christians and God may make you feel better but can never stop Christianity nor Christians.

      That's why their numbers have been decreasing.

      > Nero tried that before you and the likes of you and even went further than mere mockery but failed to stop Christians and many generations have fought against christian never could stop christianity nor its influence.

      Because comparing me to Nero is a sound and logical argument. Not to mention, comparing Nero's time vs. today.

      > The Bad news for those badmouthing christianity is that it is here to stay and it strive well when persecuted and opposed.

      Then why are the numbers dropping? Why are intelligent people leaving the faith like never before? Why can't churches find priests/reverands/deacons/etc.

      > The greatness of The Lord Jesus Christ was not in his might but in his weekness.

      Yeah, he was so weak and mild. Believe what I say or you'll be tortured forever.

      > Neither was Paul, Peter, John and all the great apostles and prophets made great by their strength. At their weakness they became great and inspired a generation.

      A generation of peasants that were ignorant and prone to accept nonsense.

      > The USA will fail but Christianity will abide forever. Actually the Bible predicted that men shall be mockers and revilers and that's exactly what they are.

      Yes, it predicted mockers so that when people found out it was nonsense, people who believed coudl say "LOOK, IT SAYS IT HERE, ALL HAIL THE LORD." By the way, claiming that people will mock you for believing the nonsense in the bible is as profound as saying people will mock you for drinking your own urine.

      > By observing the level of hatred and lack of reverence when it concerns religion I cannot help but say that something deeply wrong with the USA something is very wrong with you guys.

      Ideas are not meant to be respected. They're meant to be challenged and investigated.

      > Remember that religion is part of the soul of your nation. Your past and the very influence that shaped your great history.

      Remember that Judiasm is part of the soul of Christianity. Your past and the very influence that shaped your history. Do you then say that Jesus was not he son of God?

      Ideas change. Sure Chrsitianity may have given us a foundation, but it's with that foundation that we've grown and realized it's nonsense. Just like how you stop playing with toys as an adult. They helped you as a child, but once you're smart enough to leave them behind, you no longer need them.

      August 31, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Lion

      You said: "And yes if God sent them there he is more than able to protect them."

      That's odd... When I google it, I find lots of incidences of Chaplain deaths.

      Does this mean there is no god?

      Cheers!

      August 31, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Lion

      There is no real proof that Jesus ever actually existed.

      Christians claim their god is Omnipotent ( all powerful), Omniscient (all knowing) and Omnibenevolent (all good).

      1). If god is Omnibenevolent, He would WANT every human to believe in Him.

      The bible says He does:

      2 Peter 3:9
      9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. King James Version (KJV)

      1 Timothy 2:4
      4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. King James Version (KJV)

      2.) If god is Omniscient, then He would KNOW exactly how to convince anyone and everyone that He exists.

      3.) If god is Omnipotent, then He would be ABLE to convince anybody and everybody that He exists.

      Yet, ~ 67% of the world's population are not Christians.

      Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      August 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Bobinator

      You said: " Just like how you stop playing with toys as an adult. They helped you as a child, but once you're smart enough to leave them behind, you no longer need them."

      Good Point! And biblical!

      "When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things." I Cor. xiii. 11.

      @Lion

      Bobinator owned you dude!

      Cheers!

      August 31, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • jonathan

      @ David it says that not many wise are called, not many noble, not many mighty are called to be saved..but God has chosen the weak..that no flesh might glory in his presence. 🙂 I believe the idea is that no one will come saying they achieved on their natural abilities anything of any worth to God mainly salvation... 🙂

      September 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.